Mary Rogers - Suitcase Project
April 1, 2019
When he was president Mike Harrington suggested the suitcase project to Mary when she was Chair of the Projects and Partnerships Committee. When the Interact students used to travel to Nicaragua to work in Bennington's sister city Somotillo, they would take suitcases filled with different objects that the people needed. Mike thought this could work in Bennington as well.
Mary asked club members what ideas they had for groups that might benefit from the project. One of the advantages of this project for members, who might not be able to participate in other Rotary projects, was that it takes place at the club.
Among the ideas that club members suggested were paper for both local libraries, office supplies for a ski project for disabled skiers and socks for the homeless.
The items have to be fairly low priced, small enough to fit into the suitcase, non-perishable and fit a specific targeted need. Each projcct lasts about three weeks.
Other suggested projects were, personal items for the homeless shelter, women's items for PAVE and snack items for Trail Magic to give hikers. Leftover art supplies went to a library and a collection of children's books went to both libraries.
When Mary was working on Stuff the Bus, a nurse from a local elementary school mentioned the need for boy's underwear and socks which led to another project. Mary says the more we talk with people the more ideas will be generated, not just from Rotary members. Mary encourages people to contact her or any Rotary Board member with suggestions.
Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)
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